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September 7, 2003

"I wanna be the last thing you hear when you're falling asleep"
-Counting Crows "Catapult"

These have been busy days in early September 2003, to be sure. So my apologies to those of you anxiously awaiting the next column on here. It is nice to hear from several people who wondered when/if the next one was coming. Keep reading them, and I'll keep writing them, time permitting... It's a fun little diversion for me, a chance to communicate in ways that conventional conversation doesn't allow, and a way to stir up things from time to time. I can only imagine what it's like for someone like Bill Simmons when he goes for awhile without writing a new column.

There are so many things to cover, but lest I be accused of writing too long of a column (more on that in a minute), here are the high spots...

There's a new club in where Bar Tampa used to be in Ybor City. It's called Epic. From the looks of it, the new management put some money into the place, and I hope to see them succeed. It wasn't too terribly packed though when I stopped by a week ago Saturday (and that was with free cover).

Socialburn is an up-and-coming rock band.

My friend James and I went over to see the band Socialburn at Twilight in Ybor City last Sunday night. Fun time, for sure. They've got a song called "Down" that's earned some modern rock airplay. But in an unbelievably funny moment, after the show James started hitting on this older woman who was there... who it turns out is the mother of the lead singer of the band! Plus her husband was there with her. It was unintentional comedy of the highest level. But it all worked out well in the end, as James and I ended up meeting the band and what not. Oh, and it's worth nothing that the show rocked. Socialburn is great.

Work this week was super-busy. But I absolutely loved what I was doing. When you can do something you enjoy for a living, and work with good people, it goes a long, long way. Quite a contrast from the overnight shift at WTSP, where I enjoyed producing just fine but suffered under the tyranny of the oppressive Executive Meddler.

I want to clarify something -- I have no ill will toward WTSP. A friend of mine was saying "man, you must hate that place from all you've written about it." That's not true at all. I still have some very good friends who work there. There's just a few individuals who I'm glad to be free from having to deal with. And 10 News Survivor isn't a very fun game to play when you're being picked off one-by-one. But, if nothing else, it helped to give me an appreciation of good managers who actually help you rather than subvert you. But I digress. (Don't think I've forgotten anything, EM. Or that I don't still hear things that I may or may not choose to post on here.)

Shauna came down from Morgantown on Saturday for a one-night visit to Tampa, in what was one of the best days I've had in a long, long time. Plenty of funny jokes to go around, like my Neon with the left turn signal on speed (it blinks ridiculously fast, which is something it started doing last month). Or the "Blue Man Group" performing in the front room late at night (when actually it was just that the DVD machine had turned off and the TV went to blue screen mode).

Counting Crows
The Counting Crows put on an excellent show this past Saturday night in Tampa.

We saw the Counting Crows in concert at the USF Sun Dome last night, which was an awesome show. It was also the last show of their tour. I can't rank it above the show I saw at the House of Blues in Lake Buena Vista in August 2001, where I heard so many brand new songs and had that crowd cramped in and intensely part of the show feel. But, like Shauna told me, that playlist was just about perfect. Short of them playing something like "Love And Addiction", that was a pretty damn great selection.

We heard the end of the Florida/Miami game on the drive back from the Sun Dome. Wow, what a game. On any other weekend, I would've been mad about missing it for other plans. But not this weekend.

Seeing Shauna's reaction to the Amphitheater was pretty cool. The unique brand of Tampa dance breakbeat is definitely an attention getter for newcomers. Plus Ybor made quite an impression on her, at least from what I observed. It tends to do that. And after seeing the beach and the sunshine and the clubs and the fun of Tampa, she sees why I love living here. You can see palm trees outside of my window. Little things like that rise back to the forefront when you gauge it through the reaction of a visitor.

I have some things to say about the start of the NFL season that will wait till next time. After both Kim and Todd told me the Vegas column was too long, I suppose it's better to save the goods for the next time around. But I will say this -- for as great of an offensive mastermind as Mike Martz is, he's an awful playcaller. His smug arrogance and ego are a subversive force on his Rams offensive play choices (especially on 4th down... but more on that next time.)

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